A Pauper's Grave

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Big headlines proclaimed: "HEIR TO FOUR MILLION DOLLARS LIES IN PAUPER'S GRAVE." A newspaper writer, commenting on it, said: "Every heir to four million, or four hundred million, lies in a pauper's grave. Every corpse is a pauper. There are no pockets in shrouds, no bank accounts in the place to which we go from here."
This is only partly true. So far as taking earthly possessions along when we pass out of this world, a modern poet has expressed it this way:
"Out of this life I shall never take
Things of silver and gold that I make.
All that I cherish and hoard away,
After I leave, on the earth must stay.
"Though I have toiled for a painting rare
To hang on my wall, I must leave it there.
Though I call it mine and I boast of its worth,
I must give it up when I quit the earth.
"All that I gather and all that I keep,
I must leave behind when I fall asleep.
And I wonder often what I shall own
In that other life, where I go alone."
But to say there are "no bank accounts in the place to which we go from here" is the very opposite to the Scripture that commands us to "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." Matt. 6:2020But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (Matthew 6:20).
This is the very antithesis of what was previously stated in the same connection: "lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal."
What then is set before us? You have a soul! What is it worth to you? This is the great question. "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
"To lose your wealth is much;
To lose your health is more.
To lose your soul is such a loss
As no one can restore."
Do you trifle with the matter as though it were worthless to consider? Dear reader, you must face the responsibility, either here or in another world. It cannot be evaded. The Savior said: "Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." You may amass the wealth of the world, only to leave it behind when you "fall asleep."
Hear this parable spoken by the Lord of glory: "A certain rich man" possessed fields which brought forth plentifully. The bountiful yield of this man's ground caused him to consider how he could bank his possessions.
"What shall I do," he asks his soul, "because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
What a solution of the problem that would affect him for all eternity! But he had not reckoned far enough. Just as he prepares to live he is called up to die!
"Thou fool!" the voice from heaven declares: "This night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
Beloved, God so values the souls of men that He gave His only begotten Son to die, "that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3: 16.
What an unspeakably precious gift to sinful men from a loving, holy God! And what does He require in return? He says, "My son, give Me thine heart!" Prov. 23:2626My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. (Proverbs 23:26).
Here, in this life, everything is uncertain and perishable. There, in that life, everything is certain and sure. Banks do not fail there; no thief approaches there; neither does moth corrupt. Is your treasure there? If so, that is the dwelling place for your heart; and soon, in that eternal day, you will know the fullness of His great gift.
Dear soul, your love, your heart, are the treasure that God requires and values. Have you committed into His keeping the eternal welfare of your immortal soul? Then rest and peace should be your present portion and joy unspeakable and full of glory are yours eternally.